Monthly Archives: October 2011

Going ‘All The Way’

Somethings happens  when you walk into a room full of people for something very specific like a Running Training Day. You quickly spot the divide between the ‘Normals’ and what I like to call ‘The Keenos’. Keenos seem to talk another language, while they were discussing gait analysis and negative splits, I was with the Normals sniggering over the word ‘Fartlek’.

As well as speaking in a foreign language, Keenos on a group jog seem to be overcome with what I can only describe as Runners Tourettes. Things are shouted at random –  stupid things that don’t make any sense. My favourites include  ‘C’mon – Let’s Go’; ‘All The Way ‘and ‘Let’s Pick It Up’. Sorry, I wasn’t aware I had yet to ‘start going’ – I had been moving what I thought was fairly fast for the last few miles.  And thanks for reminding me we’re going to go ‘all the way’ there. I stupidly had it in my mind I would go some of the way, but not ‘all the way’ – your words are wise and profound indeed.  I’m still unclear what I’m supposed to pick up, maybe when I graduate to being a Keeno I will learn (if I ever start talking like a Keeno, I want someone to shoot me in the head).

Another thing you learn is that people who are really, really super fit don’t look very well. Our facilitators, while I have no doubt are so bendy they could tie their ankles in a knot behind their ear lobes, mostly looked like they needed a good feed. I spent much of the time wishing I could make them some stew and maybe after a decent dinner they’d look a bit happier.

Cynicism aside, the half marathon training day I attended yesterday was great, well worth twenty quid. It was run by the race organisers in a lovely hotel in Brighton. Lots was talked about race day and training plans and we went out for a 5k along the seafront. My worst fears were not realised – I wasn’t the slowest, least fit and some other people look much funnier than me when they run! Lots of plugs for drinks and gels and erm, sports bras. But most of all lovely, lovely people – always amazing to hear people’s stories and why their running.  Yesterday also made me realise how much further I have to go (literally) before February – it’s certainly going to be an interesting few months……

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Nice Way To Start

So, full of enthusiasm and gusto, I headed out for my longer run of the week. I’d planned seven kilometres but within a few minutes my GPS went loopy and had me running a kilometer per 23 seconds – I wish….. It was promptly switched off.

Anyhoo, it was a beautiful, beautiful morning and I made my way along the banks of the River Thames with some banging toons churning out. A few miles in, I had ‘a moment’. The sun was shining upon the water,  canal boats were rolling gently along the river and I had ‘One Day Like This’ by Elbow  humming nicely between my ear-drums. I felt like I could run forever. And I did. Well, for considerably longer than I’ve ever done before. I was truly in ‘The Zone’ and loved every second of it. I reckon I managed around 10km but with my dodgy iphone GPS I can’t be sure.

Have started to tell more family and friends about my plan for February. My mother nearly dropped the phone when I told her I was planning to run a half marathon. She’s really proud though and have no doubt that her and my Dad will be some of my most passionate supporters. So, more runs like this please

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And So It Begins……

Basically, I’ve decided to do something which is borderline a challenging goal to aim towards, borderline overambition. Let’s be honest, people run half marathons all the time – just this morning I watched a legend of a man who is 100 years old finish the Great Birmingham Run. Really, it’s not that a big a deal. But if I could give you a bit of context dear readers…..

I don’t do sports, no seriously, I don’t do sports. When I was at school, I couldn’t finish the 800 metres without stopping a few times for a rest. My evenings are spent at the pub, not playing squash or hockey. Up until a few months ago,  in my twenty eight years on this planet, I had never even owned a trainer sock. To add insult to injury, on the weight spectrum, it’s fair to say I’m on the ‘heavier’ end of the scale. I actually eat really well and am not totally bone idle – I probably walk a good 5 miles a day with work and stuff. However, have a wicked sweet tooth which has been my downfall. So given this promising resume, how on earth have I ended up volunteering to run the Brighton Half Marathon???

Are you all sitting comfortably? Good. A few months ago I stumbled upon a wonderous thing.  Couch to 5K from NHS Choices. A non patronising, amazing free podcast of which our National Health Service should be proud (and probably publicise more).  If I’m honest, I didn’t think I’d get past the first week and laughed at the thought of running 5 kilometres. ‘Laura’ our ever encouraging podcast host eases you in gently – just running intervals of 60 seconds then each week Laura became ever so slightly more demanding. Within a fortnight I couldn’t believe how much I was enjoying myself. I was feeling amazing, really proud of myself and astonishingly was counting down the hours until the next morning I could go for a run before work. Within a month I ran five kilometres, then wondered if I could do six. I could. Then seven, and so on.

And then the great English winter arrived.

While the summer sun was still with us, 6am starts and a run along the river was a charming way to start the day. Quickly it became dark when I woke up and dark when I went home. When the alarm clock went at the break of dawn, an extra hours sleep was a little too tempting. And so, I fell back into bad habits. Let’s face it, English winters are miserable. I wonder how we all survive the vitamin D deprivation. English winters also make me a little miserable. One evening when I was feeling a bit glum, I decided I needed a good old kick up the arse. I needed a challenge. I needed something which was hard enough so I would actually get out there and train over the coming months, but not so hard there was absolutely no way I’d achieve it. With becoming a squash champion and completing an Ultra ruled out, I stumbled upon the Brighton Half in February. Before I could talk myself out of it, I booked it and told people. While I’m not an elite athlete, I am however, stubborn and I have to do it now, just to save face.

So I’m still not as fit as I should be, and am still overweight and I can’t begin to describe what an un ‘me’ like thing this is to do, but I’m quite excited about the journey. Hope you enjoy it with me